Footage in NYC's Archives Sheds Important Light on the Northern Civil Rights Movement and Police Efforts to Undermine ItNews at Home
tags: civil rights, African American history, New York, civil liberties, Police, social movements, CORE, Congress of Racial Equality
L.E.J. Rachell is pursuing a PhD in History. His work focuses on the history of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements in New York City, specifically the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Much of this research can be seen on CORENYC.org.
Brooklyn CORE member Paul Heinegg (center, with papers) pictured at a 1965 CORE demonstration at Police Headquarters in Manhattan, protesting police brutality and demanding the establishment of a civilian complaint review board. His wife Rita Heinegg, also a CORE activist, stands directly behind him. Still from digitized film reel, New York City Municipal Archives.
The New York County District Attorney (D.A.) and the Bureau of Special Services (BOSSI), a specialized New York City Police Department (NYPD) unit, may be to blame for two Black men connected to Malcolm X being incarcerated on false charges. Walter Bowe and Khaleel Sayyed were convicted for being part of a conspiracy to blow up the Statue of Liberty in 1965. According to the recent memoir The Ray Wood Story: Confessions of a Black NYPD Cop in the Assassination of Malcolm X, both men, who had been members of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), were arrested to facilitate his assassination a week afterwards. While the responsibility for Malcolm’s assassination remains a contested topic, the story points to the bigger issue of the involvement of BOSSI in infiltration, surveillance, and undermining of many social justice organizations in the city.
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